A man wearing a sanitary pad is more likely to get made fun of than
respected. But Fast Company has an amazing story on one Indian inventor
named Arunachalam Muruganantham, who lost his wife, friends and almost
everything in his quest to build a better sanitary napkin by wearing one
learning that his wife (along with almost all women in India) couldn't
afford sanitary napkins, the high school drop-out made a decision to
invent an inexpensive alternative. The gutsy 49-year old inventor taught himself English and called up a US-based multinational to ask what raw
materials he needed. The answer, or crucial ingredient was wood pulp.
But before he got his list of raw materials, he tested the product out himself in a way some would find disgusting and unsanitary:
his own menstruating uterus by filling a bladder with goat's blood,
Muruganantham went about his life while wearing women's underwear,
occasionally squeezing the contraption to test out his latest
Muruganantham patented his machine after he was presented a National
Innovation Foundation award by President Pratibha Patil in 2005. While
companies like Procter & Gamble produce napkins that sell up to 30
rupees (RM1.70) a packet, his are sold for as little as 10 rupees.
Now, he's enabled women who couldn't afford proper menstruation-care more freedom to go about their lives without the barrier of having to deal with unhygienic rags. The best part is that he doesn't just sell the
napkins but the machines as well which are funded by NGOs, thus
creating jobs to members of rural communities in India.